Giovinazzi ready to participate in Alpine F1 test in Budapest

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The Italian, who is already closely linked to a drive at Haas, has emerged as a possible candidate for Fernando Alonso’s vacant seat.

Alpine will run the 2021 A521 used for its driver development program at the Hungarian GP venue.

The team’s protégé Jack Doohan, who would have taken part in the test anyway, will have the chance to bolster his claim to the F1 race seat.

As previously reported, Italian GP star Nyck de Vries is also on the program, and IndyCar driver Colton Herta, who is still trying to get a super license to race for AlphaTauri next year.

It is believed that Alpine will give the American some mileage as part of an effort to help Herta establish its F1 credentials and ultimately secure the AlphaTauri seat, allowing Pierre Gasly to move to Alpine.

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If not, Giovinazzi, de Vries and Doohan are all obvious candidates, with the Italian in a good position if, as Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi has pointed out, the team ultimately chooses someone with more experience.

Antonio Giovinazzi, Haas F1 Team

Photo By: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

But by finishing ninth in his first race last weekend, de Vries has put himself high on the list of all the teams that currently have vacancies.

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“We need to find a driver who can score big points right away,” Rossi told TBEN in Monza about the team’s driver selection process.

“This actually leads us to a more senior driver if you want, but who is at the same time able to grow with us. So those are the criteria we currently use.

“Otmar [Szafnauer] leads the process, sees all drivers, discusses with them, assesses options, assesses them here, assesses them in tests if necessary. So I think it will be a process that will take a bit.

“We want to make the right decision and are in no rush.”

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Giovinazzi, who was spotted in the Alpine hospitality unit in Monza, remains a Ferrari-contracted driver, helping his case with Haas. However, he would be released if he was given a race seat elsewhere.

A solid FP1 performance for Haas in Italy gave the former Sauber and Alfa Romeo a timely boost, and he faces a second appearance in Austin.

“Next year I want to be here for sure, it’s no secret, but it’s not up to me,” he said at Monza. “So let’s see what we can do, and for now I’m focusing on great work in these two sessions. One is over, now we’ve got another one.”